Find the latest updates and news on COVID-19 for the community services sector here.

Australian Government updates

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

Current COVID-19 scams - Scammers are using the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) to take advantage of people across Australia. This ACCC page details the current scams and what to watch out for.

Find links to the latest essential information on the Australian Government website and information about the economic response to the Coronavirus here.

15 May 2020

The Australian Government announced $48.1 million in funding for the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan. The plan will support services available in homes, workplaces, aged care, schools and other community sites with a specific focus on vulnerable groups. Read the media release.

8 May 2020

The National Cabinet met to finalise a three-step plan to gradually remove baseline restrictions and make Australia COVID-safe. Find the detailed plan of the steps (PDF 174 KB), as well as a summary (PDF 175 KB) on the Australian Government website. Read more information about the Queensland Government's roadmap to easing restrictions here.

27 April 2020

JobKeeper update. Changes to the JobKeeper scheme will allow charities (other than schools and universities) to elect to exclude government revenue from the JobKeeper turnover test. This will allow employing charities receiving revenue from government to use either their total turnover, or their turnover excluding government revenue, for the purposes of assessing eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment.  This will help to ensure that the eligibility of charities is not adversely affected where they are delivering significant services that are funded by government. Read the media release. 

Read more about JobKeeper payments and other financial assistance here.

Queensland Government

Find the latest Queensland Government COVID-19 updates here.

Read more information about the Queensland Government's roadmap to easing restrictions here. For more information about the implications for community services visit our page on easing restrictions on Community Door.

22 May 2020

$900,000 COVID-19 package to support vulnerable communities

The Queensland Government has extended Covid-19 support for vulnerable multicultural communities with a dedicated $900,000 community connections package for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. Read the media release here.

7 May 2020

Payroll tax exemption on JobKeeper payments

The Queensland Government has announced that Queensland businesses will not pay payroll tax on the Federal Government’s JobKeeper payments. Read the media release here.

6 May 2020

Extra funding for domestic and family violence service providers

The Premier also announced that a further $2 million would be made available for domestic and family violence service providers to cope with increased demand and costs – in addition to a funding boost of $5.5 million announced in April. Read the media release here.

28 April 2020

Chief Health Officer public health directions

To slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Queensland Government tightened restrictions around staying at home, going outside, and having visitors to your home. Together Queenslanders have slowed the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home as directed. As a result, from 2 May 2020 the Queensland Government can begin easing restrictions on movement, in a way that limits community spread of the virus.

For more information visit the Queensland Health Directions online portal. The portal can be used for requests for exemptions, enquiries seeking clarity or explanation of the directions and other information. Visit the online portal here.

22 April 2020

Palaszczuk Government delivers support for health, jobs and business

Emergency measures to support Queenslanders, the business community and the industries which will deliver the State back to economic prosperity have been passed by Parliament. The Appropriation (COVID-19) Bill 2020 provides additional funding of more than $4 billion over two years to protect Queensland during the coronavirus pandemic. Read the media release here.

22 April 2020

Queensland Government ramps up support for visiting students

The Queensland Government has doubled efforts to support international students stranded in Queensland as a result of COVID-19. From today, students aged over 18 will be able to connect with professional support counsellors through a homegrown counselling service. A digital platform will link case workers with students to guide them through mental health, visa, crisis accommodation and other essential needs. Read the media release here.

18 April 2020

The Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors has released guidelines for community services workers around sending their children back to school. If your organisation is an essential service you are considered an essential worker. If it's not possible for your child to be cared for at home, or to learn from home while you are at work, they can go to school. To read the full advice click here (docx format). 

14 April 2020

Boost for grassroots health care provider groups hampered by COVID-19 impact in Queensland

The Queensland Government has announced a $28 million fund to support Queensland's community-based health service groups as part of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Read media release.

Queensland Department of Health

Queensland Health website is the best source of health information for Queenslanders. For the most recent media release visit the Queensland Health media release page.

Chief Health Officer public health directions

To slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Queensland Government tightened restrictions around staying at home, going outside, and having visitors to your home. Together Queenslanders have slowed the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home as directed. As a result, from 2 May 2020 the Queensland Government can begin easing restrictions on movement, in a way that limits community spread of the virus.

For more information visit the Queensland Health Directions online portal. The portal can be used for requests for exemptions, enquiries seeking clarity or explanation of the directions and other information. Visit the online portal here.

31 March 2020

Home confinement directions

All people must stay in their homes except for: shopping for essentials - food and necessary supplies; medical or health care needs, including compassionate requirements; exercise with no more than one other person (unless from your household); providing care or assistance to an immediate family member; and work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely. This direction applies to all residents of Queensland. Read the full statement.

Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors

COVID-19 and the Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF) 

Organisations may be experiencing challenges meeting HSQF timeframes as a result of COVID-19 impacts and supports flexibility where possible. Visit the website for more information.

Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

The Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women is working with peak bodies and service providers on the best ways to provide essential services as safely as possible. This may mean changes to how services are delivered. To support funded service providers and foster and kinship carers the department has provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions relating to COVID-19. Find out more here.

Department of Housing and Public Works

The Department of Housing and Public Works has released a draft Residential Tenancies Practice Guide for negotiating arrangements for residential tenancy agreements for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It sets out the steps for tenants and property owners to negotiate variations to residential tenancy agreements, including rent adjustments and breaking leases. Read the draft Residential Tenancies Practice Guide on the Residential Rental Hub.

QCOSS updates

As the peak body for social services in Queensland, QCOSS is committed to ensuring the wellbeing of every person, in every community in Queensland. As community services focus on how we continue to provide essential service to support people and communities during this crisis QCOSS will keep you up to date with what is happening in the sector.

Read updates from QCOSS

Brisbane City Council

Council is offering rates relief to businesses and residents experiencing hardship because of the economic impacts of coronavirus. The assistance will apply to all ratepayers, including owner occupiers, non-owner occupiers and businesses.

Payment plans or deferred payment arrangements will be offered for up to 9 months and interest would not be applied from the April quarter onwards. In addition, most rates recovery processes will cease until further notice. For more information phone Council on 07 3403 8888 or visit the website.

COSS network COVID-19 information for people in other states

 

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The COSS Network is partnering with Professor David Gilchrist (University of Western Australia) for a focused webinar on the applicability and accounting for JobKeeper payments for not-for-profits (NFPs) and charities. The one-hour webinar will cover the key elements and considerations for applying...
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Learn all about the latest updates on the government stimulus packages available to not-for-profits including JobKeeper, cash flow boost for employers, and the coronavirus small and medium enterprise (SME) guarantee scheme. This webinar will also provide a chance for you to ask questions relating...
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Dealing with debt can feel overwhelming and with the current COVID-19 pandemic these feelings may only increase. QCOSS has examined the issue and assembled a list of priorities, tips and recommendations to straighten out your finances. Fortunately, there is help available across a wide range of...
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Queensland Government media release Volunteers and organisations with volunteers will be able to access specialised resources about working during a pandemic, which have been developed by Volunteering Queensland. The resources - Volunteering in Response to a Pandemic: A Practical Guide for...
Queensland Government media release The Queensland Government has extended Covid-19 support for vulnerable multicultural communities with a dedicated $900,000 connections package for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. Multicultural Affairs Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said people on temporary...
The ACOSS/UNSW Poverty and Inequality partnership, in collaboration with Anti-Poverty Week invites you to an Australia at Home lunchtime webinar on Poverty in Australia: pre-COVID realities and post-COVID choices. Australia at Home is an initiative, supported by Essential Media, Australian Progress...
Queensland Government media release Queensland small businesses can now apply for a up to $10,000 grant under a new $100 million package to help them counter the impact of COVID-19. The package was announced today as part of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Strategy: Unite and Recover for Queensland...
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Do you need emergency financial relief? Access Emergency Relief is open to anyone living in Queensland, regardless of visa status or citizenship. The helpline is able to provide vouchers for various supermarkets, Caltex and payment of any bills in your name. This can all be done over the phone,...
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A comprehensive list of hand sanitiser manufacturers has been released by the Queensland Government. These companies are either contracted to the Queensland Government or known to the hand sanitiser essential supply team. Please note this is not an exhaustive list and many other hand sanitiser...
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Being alert to elder abuse in our communities is always important, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research shows family violence often increases during major crises and disruptions, which means some older Queenslanders may be at increased risk of abuse at this time. Social and...

Pages

A central point where you can find information and support on the COVID-19 changes affecting renting in Queensland. An initiative of the Queensland Government in collaboration with RTA, Tenants Queensland and REIQ. The hub includes: Information for renters Information for property owners...
This 30-minute online training module is for health care workers in all settings. It covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19. This training module covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19 including: COVID-19 – what is it? Signs and...
Insight centre for alcohol and other drug training has developed a toolkit for remote alcohol and other drug (AOD) counselling service delivery. The toolkit contains mobile apps, interactive websites and downloadable worksheets that can be used to enhance telephone or online-based AOD counselling...
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has published a series of webinars designed to support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics include: Is your business ready or prepared for remote working environments? Be practically prepared State and Federal Government resources...
The following fact sheets provide more information about financial assistance to support individuals and households through Coronavirus. Income support for individuals - eligibility information about income support payments and the Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight...
Oneplace Find help near you. Search more than 53,000 Queensland family community services at oneplace . Department of Social Services The Department of Social Services provides a search function to find your nearest emergency relief provider . Ask Izzy Ask Izzy is a mobile website that connects...
Thriving Communities Partnership (TCP) provides a COVID-19 pandemic resource platform that includes response packages, support and information available from TCP partners and other organisations across Australia. More information here
You can download a business continuity plan template here or a template for a disaster plan for community organisations here . If you don’t already have a formal business continuity plan in place, or you need to update it, visit the Business continuity page for more information on what to include...
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Author: 
Samuel Mortimer, QCOSS

Workplaces across Australia are innovating in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic - with many transitioning to operating in a virtual environment as employees begin to work from home.

It can be a learning curve for some people working from home for the first time, but...

See videos from StudioQ related to this topic

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